Monday, March 05, 2007

"I'm the Osbourne with HIV!"

Jack Osbourne is not HIV-positive. The son of Ozzy and Sharon and reality TV star in his own right has been the target of speculation the past few weeks, ever since his sister Kelly broke down onstage at an AIDS benefit and blubbered that a "member of my family" is HIV positive-- "and I'm very proud of him."

It turns out that recovering drug abuser Jack was not the Osbourne Kelly had outed. The family member is not even a member of the TV family-- and not even an official "Osbourne," but, as we'd suggested, her cousin. Terry Longden is a 43-year-oldhairdresser and star of the UK reality show, The Salon. He'd attended the benefit with Kelly, and was standing offstage when she made the announcement in London. And he says he knew in advance that she'd make the disclosure.

"I told her to say whatever she wanted because it might help someone in a similar situation, but I didn't expect her to cry. I felt quite guilty. She gave me a big hug when she came off," Longden tells Inside Out Australia.

He says he found out he was ill after being tested six years ago, a case of "unfortunate" timing, as Ozzy's wife Sharon had just been diagnosed with colon cancer.

"I (eventually) spoke to Sharon and she was fantastic. She totally understood and gave her support. Five minutes later Ozzy rang and he was great, which was a relief. Then Aimee (the Osbournes' eldest daughter) called. She was a bit worried, but very supportive. Then I had dinner with Jack and Kelly the other day to tell them face to face. They were amazing. I couldn't have a better family."

So what took him so long to step forward after Kelly's remarks turned into a mystery?

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